As a Certified Magic Link teacher and Occupational Therapist I wanted to describe my perspective when teaching many children with poor handwriting. I have been working as a Dyslexia specialist with children experiencing specific learning disabilities and I found myself searching for a solution to the issue of messy handwriting. I work with children with Dyslexia and understand that handwriting struggles can be a significant concern for children, parents and teachers alike. Handwriting difficulties can have a real impact on confidence, academic performance and exam results.
I was looking for an approach that would work for both right and left-handers, which would be clear and non-fussy and in addition which would contain a sufficient amount of practice and over learning to firmly consolidate. I have found from past experience in teaching, that overly fussy or flouncy handwriting styles can be hard for struggling writers to read and form their letters and words clearly. When I discovered Lee Dein and her Magic Link Handwriting programme, I was immediately impressed by the “before” and “after” transformations on the website. Lee, the creator of Magic Link, invited me to come and view the programme in action. I observed children at various stages of their workbooks enjoying the process of transforming their handwriting. One boy had just finished a five-session intensive course and was delighted. Parents collecting their children expressed gratitude as they could see that the programme was getting results.
I decided I wanted to look into this further, and in due course became a Magic Link Handwriting teacher. I have enjoyed success with all of my students and have found the process to be immensely satisfying. I love to see the children smile with pride as they tell me they were Star of the Week for their handwriting or got their pen licence. Parents message me having been approached by the class teacher with similar positive accolades. From an occupational therapist perspective this is incredibly rewarding .
Studies suggest that working on handwriting has a generally positive impact on reading skills, as opposed to keyboarding. The Magic Link Handwriting approach involves verbalising letters and movements as the child writes. This helps to consolidate the exact movements required as well as reinforcing letter-sound awareness, a key component in the development of literacy skills. I am delighted to see that the Magic Link programme also helps with spelling. Struggling learners benefit from the ample practice of common spelling patterns throughout the programme. I love the unique “magic link” within Magic Link handwriting. This helps to keep letters sitting on the line and enforces separation of the joined letters so that they are clearly spaced and not overlapping or squished together. This greatly helps with establishing a clear, readable presentation.
These are just some of the reasons why I love being a Magic Link Handwriting teacher. Please see the website for more information and to find a Magic Link Handwriting Teachers near you.
By Andree Warnock
James, K. H. (2017). The importance of handwriting experience on the development of the literate brain. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26, 502-508.